When I was a young’un teaching myself the game of chess, I remember coming across a chess dictionary that mentioned something called postal or correspondence chess. (Trivia: the first postal chess match was played in 1824.) What struck me about postal chess was that you could play with anyone, no matter how far away they lived.
This was before the Internet had entered my consciousness. Since then, I’ve used the ‘net as a conduit to play turn-based games that lasted from half a year (Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri) to real time games that have lasted, well, nearly five years and counting (EverQuest). The games I’ve chosen are themselves fun, but interacting with old college friends and relatives who live far away is the real excitement.
Now, it seems to me I’ve gone full circle. Am I playing the latest, greatest new multiplayer game out there? No, I’ve just started playing chess by email with my grad school chum. Wish me luck!